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Secularism Under Indian Constitution And Judicial Intervention

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The English word secular drives from the Latin word ‘saeculum’, meaning “the present age”, “this world” of change as opposed to the eternal “religious world.” It is defined as “the liberation of man from religious and metaphysical tutelage the turning of his attention away from other worlds and towards this one.”

Religion stands for the Spiritual values of life and for the relation of the human personality to the divine. Secularism is a principle that involve two basic propositions. The first is the Strict Separation of the state from religious institutions. The second is that people of different religion and beliefs are equal before the laws.

The constitution of India provides individual and group freedom of religion according to Article 25, 26 and 30. The idea of the secular state was elaborated by Dr. BR Ambedkar. Basically, secularism is the concept that government or other entities should exist separately from religion and for religious beliefs.

Historical Background

The term ‘Secularism’ was first used by the British writer Jacob Holyoake in the year 1851. He used this word (Secularism) to express his views about promoting the social order separate from religion without creating harm to the religious belief.

If we talk about the history of secularization or secularism, it originally meant the transfer of ecclesiastical3 property to civil or state ownership. Christian churches were huge landowners and religious institutions in non-Christian countries also held or controlled very large properties, which state increasingly secularized.

Secularization and secularism began in western Europe and it took rise of science and the scientific outlook, our many centuries. George Holyoake founded a secularist society that helped end religious discrimination in parliament and elsewhere.

Features of Secularism

  • Equal respect and recognition for all religions by the state.
  • No discrimination by the Sate on the basis of religion.
  • Noninterference in the functionality of any religion by State.
  • No official religion in India.
  • An individual has the right to practice, propagate and profess any religion.
  • It encourages moral and spiritual values.
  • Encourages rational thinking.
  • Rationalism implies the influence of ‘reason’ of conscience our all blind faith.
  • Every secular man enquires into the cause and effect relationship associated with all ritual.
  • Secularism has become a sub-process of modernization.
  • Also, it has kept away the modern society from the influences of religious faiths, symbols and institutions.

Legislative Framework

One may even venture to such an extreme as to state that it is India alone which has kept alive the world’s enthusiasm for secularism, and to include that doubt about India’s secularism outside India isn’t obscure. Indian secularism as a core value to our Constitution was being addressed directly from when the Constituent Assembly was drafting India’s constitution. In the contemporary period, calls for returning to secularism have emerged not on the grounds that there is a sudden flood of conservative gatherings, both at the middle and in the states, but since secularism in India’s setting was being abused by ideological groups cutting crosswise over belief systems.

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India is one of the most secular states as held by the provisions of Constitution in a nutshell. But, it’s a high time to understand via the roots of politic if it is for the real sense and manner if the word is used for or is it simply for the sake of position in the Preamble to simply show that our country is mere secular and the umbrella legislation book of our country. During the time of framing of our Constitution and after India got Independence in 1947, many freedom fighters and political members of our country, looking upon the rich taste and diversified nature of people all across the length and breadth of the country. The issues were created when the political aspects and perceptions of the people were mixed with the ongoing socio-economic problems and the blend got to a far off level of dismantling of the society and spread of hatred amongst the people of various religions economic problems and the blend got to a fear off level of dismantling of the society and spread of hatred amongst the people of various religions which puts on a question mark on the “secular” state remark and it’s extra-diluted phase, leading to pessimistic religious intolerance in the nation.

Reality from constitution speaks that Article 25, Right to freedom of religion for the propagation and practice of religion is the basic root for the religious easement. The further prohibition of the use of religious institutions for political purposes or the setting up of political organizations on a religious basis but, in the recent paradigm shift of the pressure of elections upcoming in 2019, the two parties opposing to each other that is, BJP and INC, are upon full-fledged energetic spirit to deal with the majority of seats followed by other political parties as in the TMC, DMK, BSP, AAP and a lot more. And this fight for the majority of the seats is the new traumatic phase for the public as the religion is a trump card along with the reservations amendment used recently and it has played with the emotional sentiments of the people as well as the new legislation passed is somewhat not complying with the rule of established law.4

People appear to suppose that underneath a profane state, there should be a standard law discovered by its voters all told matters as well as matters of their existence, their language, their culture, their personal laws. This can be not the proper thanks to inspect the profane state. In a very profane state, voter’s happiness to totally different communities should have the liberty to practice their own faith, observe their own lives and their personal laws ought to be applied to them. However, what the Constitutional Assembly debates do tell America, amidst all the contradictions and concessions, is however they created their own version of philosophical system in their quest to create a nation. While one will disagree on several things the founders same, what can’t be denied is that the spirit that drove discussion on one among the foremost important aspects of Indian democracy.5 The recent Supreme Court judgement on permitting girls of all age teams into the Sabarimala temple has brought out very sharp reactions from the two opposite camps, the fashionable liberal teams and also the orthodox Hindu traditionalists. The judgement has raised the question whether or not a non-secular belief that doesn’t violate the provisions of Article twenty-five will be adjudicated by the courts.

Constitutional Basis of Secularism

Article 15 of Indian constitution plainly documented that state won’t segregate among the citizens on the bottom of religion, race, caste, sex, and place of birth or any of them. It’s a fundamental right of every citizen to be treated equally below the steady gaze of law and state won’t incline toward the opposite on earlier on any five fouled ground revered below Article 15 of Indian constitution. The state won’t build up its very own faith and prejudices treatment is expressly precluded. This is often feature of secularism, the pundits of Indian secularism use to state that Indian secularism nevertheless it’s pseudo secularism. Article 14 of Indian constitution accommodates balance below the steady gaze of law and equivalent insurance of laws, it implies no matter laws are established by the parliament or any state council or another neighborhood or another skilled as characterized below Article 12 of Indian constitution. As indicated by this doctrine every individual ought to be treated equally and while not segregation. Equality is a necessary structure of the Indian constitution. Every resident should offer adequate chance and freedom in their separate life. Article 13 (1) expressly pronounced all laws that were there in power before the start of Indian constitution as void up to it’s in reliable with part III and a few alternative pieces of Indian constitution. This single proviso under Indian constitution smitten down each customary law that was in power at the season of starting of Indian constitution. Article 25 of Indian constitution is termed as a wellspring of secularism because it provides a chance to all or any people to execute, affirm and proliferate religion of their call. This is often a side of freedom still it is not total and it’s vulnerable to open request, moral quality, well-being and totally different arrangements of Part III of Indian constitution. Article 26, 27, 28 fully known with the thought character of the Indian constitution. Article 29 and 30 of the constitution are extraordinary arrangements below of the Indian constitution that secure the passion if non-secular and phonetic minorities in India. This is often a defensive umbrella to minorities to save lots of and secure their terribly own method of life and conventions. The 42nd Amendment may be a formal articulation of secularism it did not have something new but it an effect of inward awake to Indian constitution, by the higher than exchange obviously secularism is constitutional traditional for the constitution.

Landmark Judgements

In the landmark judgement of S.R. Bommai vs. Union of India6 the court clearly pronounced that secularism is a piece of the essential structure.7 But the concern emerged in planning a definition. Ahmadi, J., expressed that secularism relies upon on the “standards of settlement and resilience”. At the end of the day, an embrace of a “soft secularism”. He would in popular concur with the widened definition received through the Court in Indra Sawhney8. The Court in Bommai ruled that religion and worldly exercise don’t blend. Opportunity and resistance of resistance of religion is just to the diploma of permitting quest for profound life that is now not the same as mainstream life. The closing falls in the space of the issues of the State. The Court moreover said that “the infringement of religion into mainstream exercises is carefully prohibited”.9 Ramaswamy, J., as he would see it proclaimed that the State has the duty to assurance secularism by way of law or a professional request. He clarified that projects or standards developed by using ideological agencies dependent on religion add up to perceiving faith as a piece of political administration which the Constitution explicitly prohibited.10

Aruna Roy vs. Union of India11 – In this landmark case related to secularism, the schools were imparting knowledge based on religion and created distinctions between minority and majority. Even though it was regarded as not allowed under Article 28, the state funded schools didn’t follow that which created the issues. The religious studies have to be uniform and there should be religious pluralism followed so as to respect various cultures across the country. So education shouldn’t be clubbed with religion and therefore, an Uniform Civil Code should be structured as per Article 44 of the Constitution. In regard to all areas and perspectives covered under the family law, the differences created between all religious enactments can be cleared by this. Unless and until the religious disparities are cleared, there can’t be peace around and secularism is just for a name shake.

Reference to Article 44

Article 44 of the Indian Constitution is by all accounts clear as it requires a uniform civil code, in this way broadcasting, one rule for all. Article 44 of the Indian Constitution is by all accounts clear because it needs a uniform civil code, during this manner broadcasting, one rule for all12 religion is wherever individuals use to pursue bound basic elements of religion; the state can keep itself off from such practices. Whereas overseeing the state it’ll not formally bolster a selected religion. The state should be unbiased within the preternatural problems with individuals. The opportunity of faith is ensured to every individual in most vote based mostly nations however such opportunity won’t conciliate problems within the public arena. Lawmaking body, executive and judiciary are organs of the state, it’s real want to structure these bodies whereas executing their sovereign capacities they’re going to not get pleasure from the problems of religion and profound problems with individuals. The individual is allowed to follow its opportunity but the state should stop itself from unfair improvement over the preternatural or non-secular conviction confidence and loves of individuals. The state won’t pass a law that precludes individual from active their chance of religion. The state has to be compelled to move toward turning into guard dog everything being equal and it’ll get pleasure from non-secular or preternatural matter of the individual. The fundamental standard of secularism is non-obstruction hypothesis within the non-secular issue.


So, taking it from the viewpoint of the issues whatever it started from the demolition of Babri Masjid and construction of Ram Mandir yet now, till the gender biased, religion based issues are onto the game of divide and rule the people of our nation which is the biggest trick used by the political parties. Hence, the elections 2019 are expected to cause a huge turbulence in the country and the war has started already for gaining support of people via the vote banks. Secularism therefore has turned into a dubious and cofounded subject in India’s talk. People should be aware in this high time that bread and butter in peace is a necessity and politics goes in vain unless and until it’s for the best cause to make a country safe to live in.

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Secularism Under Indian Constitution And Judicial Intervention. (2021, August 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
“Secularism Under Indian Constitution And Judicial Intervention.” Edubirdie, 16 Aug. 2021,
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Secularism Under Indian Constitution And Judicial Intervention [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 16 [cited 2024 Feb 29]. Available from:
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